Francois De La Rochefoucauld
We always like those who admire us; we do not always like those whom we admire.
Pride does not wish to owe and vanity does not wish to pay.
In jealousy there is more of self-love, than of love to another.
Weak people cannot be sincere.
We often do good in order that we may do evil with impunity.
Absence diminishes small loves and increases great ones, as the wind blows out the candle and fans the bonfire.
Philosophy triumphs easily over past evils and future evils; but present evils triumph over it.
He who lives without folly is not so wise as he imagines.
Gratitude is merely the secret hope of further favors.
We are more interested in making others believe we are happy than in trying to be happy ourselves.
The defects of the understanding, like those of the face, grow worse as we grow old.
Preserving health by too severe a rule is a worrisome malady.
Vanity makes us do more things against inclination than reason.
What seems to be generosity is often no more than disguised ambition, which overlooks a small interest in order to secure a great one.
We all have strength enough to endure the misfortunes of others.
The height of cleverness is to be able to conceal it.
Hope is the last thing that dies in man; and though it be exceedingly deceitful, yet it is of this good use to us, that while we are traveling through life it conducts us in an easier and more pleasant way to our journey's end.
To establish oneself in the world, one has to do all one can to appear established.
Before we set our hearts too much upon anything, let us examine how happy those are who already possess it.
We should manage our fortunes as we do our health - enjoy it when good, be patient when it is bad, and never apply violent remedies except in an extreme necessity.
Everyone complains of his lack of memory, but nobody of his want of judgment.
We would frequently be ashamed of our good deeds if people saw all of the motives that produced them.
The pleasure of love is in loving.
The truest mark of being born with great qualities, is being born without envy.
We think very few people sensible, except those who are of our opinion.
Good advice is something a man gives when he is too old to set a bad example.
Absence extinguishes small passions and increases great ones, as the wind blows out a candle, and blows in a fire.
No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.
We confess our little faults to persuade people that we have no large ones.
Confidence contributes more to conversation than wit.
To be deceived by our enemies or betrayed by our friends in insupportable; yet by ourselves we are often content to be so treated.
The confidence which we have in ourselves gives birth to much of that which we have in others.
He who lives without folly isn't so wise as he thinks.
A true friend is the greatest of all blessings, and that which we take the least care of all to acquire.
Small minds are much distressed by little things. Great minds see them all but are not upset by them.
We should often be ashamed of our finest actions if the world understood our motives.
Minds of moderate caliber ordinarily condemn everything which is beyond their range.
When we are unable to find tranquility within ourselves, it is useless to seek it elsewhere.
Quarrels would not last long if the fault were only on one side.
Few are agreeable in conversation, because each thinks more of what he intends to say than of what others are saying, and listens no more when he himself has a chance to speak.
We seldom attribute common sense except to those who agree with us.
We rarely think people have good sense unless they agree with us.
It is often merely for an excuse that we say things are impossible.
If we had no faults of our own, we would not take so much pleasure in noticing those of others.
Jealousy feeds upon suspicion, and it turns into fury or it ends as soon as we pass from suspicion to certainty.
Our repentance is not so much regret for the ill we have done as fear of the ill that may happen to us in consequence.
The mind cannot long act the role of the heart.
To safeguard one's health at the cost of too strict a diet is a tiresome illness indeed.
When we are unable to find tranquillity within ourselves, it is useless to seek it elsewhere.
Few things are impracticable in themselves; and it is for want of application, rather than of means, that men fail to succeed.
Not all those who know their minds know their hearts as well.
The passions are the only orators that always persuade.
The passions often engender their contraries.
We are so accustomed to disguise ourselves to others, that in the end, we become disguised to ourselves.
However brilliant an action, it should not be esteemed great unless the result of a great motive.
The glory of great men should always be measured by the means they have used to acquire it.
To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.
Hypocrisy is the homage which vice pays to virtue.
Many people despise wealth, but few know how to give it away.
The sort of liveliness which increases with age is not far distant from madness.
There are very few women in society whose virtue outlasts their beauty.
We are so accustomed to disguise ourselves to others that in the end we become disguised to ourselves.
One cannot answer for his courage when he has never been in danger.
It is a great ability to be able to conceal one's ability.
As one grows older, one becomes wiser and more foolish.
The man whom no one pleases is much more unhappy than the man who pleases no one.
Why is it that our memory is good enough to retain the least triviality that happens to us, and yet not good enough to recollect how often we have told it to the same person?
To listen closely and reply well is the highest perfection we are able to attain in the art of conversation.
The defects and faults in the mind are like wounds in the body. After all imaginable care has been taken to heal them up, still there will be a scar left behind.
The reason why so few people are agreeable in conversation is that each is thinking more about what he intends to say than about what others are saying, and we never listen when we are eager to speak.
Nothing is less sincere than our mode of asking and giving advice. He who asks seems to have a deference for the opinion of his friend, while he only aims to get approval of his own and make his friend responsible for his action. And he who gives advice repays the confidence supposed to be placed in him by a seemingly disinterested zeal, while he seldom means anything by his advice but his own interest or reputation.
The most dangerous folly of old people who were once attractive is to forget that they are not so any longer.